The Holms Race


27 JULY UPDATE: the Notice of Race and Entry Form have been published below and entries are now open!

26 JULY UPDATE: the 2021 Holms Race will take place on Saturday 4 September. The Notice of Race is being updated and will be published below shortly, along with the online entry form. Sailing Instructions will follow in mid/late August and then a list of confirmed entries and their handicaps in the week before the race. 

Key points for the 2021 edition:

  • The start/finish line will be off Battery Point (as per 2020)
  • There will be a social event this year: details TBC
  • There is no entry fee this year (although competitors must enter to be eligible for prizes and berthing offers)
  • All competitors must abide by local social distancing rules in force at the time of the event
  • Entries will be via online form only (here)


The Holms race is the most high profile event in the club calendar with a typical entry of over 50 boats from clubs around the Bristol Channel.

It is held in late August or early September and is a down tide race starting and finishing off Portishead, with a course of NW Elbow to port, Flat Holm to Port, Steep Holm to port, NW Elbow to starboard and finish.

Competitors choose their own start time from 2 hours after high water based on the tidal streams and the wind with the aim of passing between the Holms at slack water.

The elapsed time taken is corrected for open handicap and with a tidal correction to correct for the natural advantage for slower handicap boats on down tide races.

After the race on Saturday competitors are invited to attend a venue close to the marina for a hot meal, drinks and the results and prize giving.

Here’s a video of the 2011 race and one of the 2012 race

The 2020 edition takes place on Saturday 5th September, with high water Avonmouth at 11:30 BST. Please see links below for:

Entry Form
Notice of Race
– Sailing Instructions (link to follow)
– Our Sponsors boatfolk and Advance Marine

2020 Results

2019 Results:

2018 Results:

2017 Results: